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Institute for Global Health and Development - Staff Profiles

Professor Barbara McPake, Research Director for ReBUILD, IGHD

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Areas of interest

  • Economics of health systems
  • Health financing policy and equity
  • Human resources for health
  • Contracts involving the public health sector
  • Hospital reform
  • ARV treatment programmes and health systems


Barbara McPake is a health economist specialising in health policy and systems research. She has more than 28 years’ experience in these areas based in four university departments. She is currently Director, Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne and one of two Research Directors of ‘ReBUILD’ a UK Department for International Development funded Research Programme Consortium on health systems development. She was formerly, Director, Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (2005-2014) Programme Director, Health Systems Development Knowledge Programme (also funded by DFID) (2001-6) and Head of Health Policy Unit (2001-4) at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


  • ReBUILD: Research for building pro-poor health systems during the recovery from conflict.

The ReBUILD Consortium is an international research partnership working for improved access of the poor to effective health care and reduced health costs burdens, through the production and uptake of a coherent body of high quality, policy-relevant new research on health systems financing and human resources for health in post-conflict countries. ReBUILD is led in the UK by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, working with partner research organisations in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe. ReBUILD is funded by the UK Department for International Development.

IGHD Researchers: Barbara McPake, Sophie Witter, Suzanne Fustukian, David Newlands, Fiona O'May

Recent publications

Brown, A., Cometto, G., Cumbi, A., de Pinho, H., Kamwendo, F., Lehman, U., McCourt, W., McPake, B., Pariyo, G. and Sanders, D. (2011) Mid-level providers: a promising resource: Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica, 28, 2: 308-15

McPake, B., Hongoro, C. and Russo, G. (2011) Two-tier charging in Maputo Central Hospital: Costs, revenues and effects on equity of access to hospital services, BMC Health Services Research, 11:143, doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-143

Oliveira Cruz, V. and McPake, B. (2011) Global health initiatives and aid effectiveness: insights from a Ugandan case study, Globalisation and Health

McPake, B., Brikci, N., Cometto, G., Schmidt, A. and Araujo, E. (2011) Removing user fees: learning from international experience to support the process, Health Policy and Planning

McPake, B. (2011) Human resources and the health sector, Chapter 6 in Smith, R. and Hanson, K. Health systems in low income countries: an economic and policy perspective, Oxford University Press

Ssengooba, F, McPake, B., and Palmer, N. (2012) Why performance-based contracting failed in Uganda: An ‘open box’ evaluation of a complex health system intervention, Social Science and Medicine

Rahman, S.A., Kielmann, T., McPake B. and Normand C. (2012) Healthcare-seeking Behaviour among the Tribal People of Bangladesh: Can the Current Health System Really Meet Their Needs?  Journal of Health Population and Nutrition, 30 (3)

Kapilashrami, A. and McPake, B. (2013) Transforming governance or reinforcing hierarchies and competition: examining the public and hidden transcripts of the Global Fund and HIV in India, Health Policy and Planning doi: 10.1093/heapol/czs102

Chirwa, Y., Witter S., Munjoma, M., Mashange, W., Ensor, T., McPake, B., and Munyati, S. (2013)  The human resource implications of improving financial risk protection for mothers and newborns in Zimbabwe BMC Health Services Research, 13: 197

McPake, B., Witter, S., Ensor, T., Fustukian, S., Newlands, D., Martineau, T., and Chirwa, Y. (2013) Removing financial barriers to access reproductive, maternal and newborn health services: the challenges and policy implications for human resources for Health, Human Resources for Health, 11: 46

Russo, G, McPake, B., Fronteira, I., Ferrinho, P. (2013) Negotiating markets for health: an exploration of physicians’ engagement in dual practice in three African capital cities Health Policy and Planning, 29, 6: 774-83

McPake, B., Maeda, A., Araujo, E.C., Lemiere, C., El Maghraby, A. and Cometto, G. (2013) Why do health labour market forces matter for Universal Health Coverage? Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 91, 11: 8441-6

McPake, B., Normand C. and Smith S. Health Economics in International Perspective, Taylor Francis (Routledge) 3rd Edition, 2013.

McPake, B., Russo, G., and Tseng, F.M. (2014) How do dual practitioners divide their time? The cases of three African capital cities, Social Science and Medicine, 122, 113-21

McPake, B. and Edoka, I. (2014) Universal health coverage reforms: implications for the distribution of the health workforce in low- and middle-income countries, WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health, 3, 3-4: 197-300

Zou, G., McPake, B. and Wei, X. (2014) Chinese health foreign aid and policy: beyond medical aid, The Lancet, 383, 9927, 1461-2

McPake, B., Scott, A., and Edoka, I. Analyzing markets for health workers: insights from labor and health economics, The World Bank, Washington D.C., 2014

McPake, B., Squires, A., Mahat, A., and Araujo, E. The economics of professional education and careers: Insights from a literature review, The World Bank, Washington D.C., 2015

McPake, B., Edoka, I., Witter, S., Kielmann, K., Taegtmeyer, M., Dieleman, M., Vaughan, K., Gama, E., Kok, M., Datiko, D., Otiso, L., Ahmed, R., Squires, N., Suraratdecha, C. and Cometto, G. (2015) Cost-effectiveness of community-based practitioner programmes in Ethiopia, Indonesia and Kenya, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Published online: 3 August 2015, Article ID: BLT.14.144899

McPake, B., Witter, S., Ssali, S., Wurie, H., Namakula, J., and Ssengooba, F. (2015) Ebola in the context of conflict affected states and health systems: case studies of Northern Uganda and Sierra Leone, Conflict and Health, 9:23.

Bergström, S., McPake, B., Pereira, C and Dovlo, D. (2015) Workforce innovations to expand the capacity for surgical services Chapter 17 in Debas, H.T., Donkor, P., Gawande, A., Jamison, D.T., Kruk, M.E. and Mock, C.N. (eds) Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition, volume 1: Essential Surgery, Washington DC: World Bank.

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